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Fret Not Thyself

(Psalm 37:1-7)


1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.


2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.


3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.


4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.


5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.


6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.


7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.


Many of David’s Psalms are “Praising Psalms”. This Psalm of David is a “Teaching Psalm”.


Verse one tells us not to “fret”. The Hebrew word that is translated “fret” means literally to “glow” or “grow warm”. Have you ever felt your face getting warm because you were angry or irritated? Fretting does this. It is natural to fret when we see evildoers who appear to be “getting away” with their evil, but God commands us not to do so. We are also not to be envious of them when they seem to prosper in their wickedness. Do we take these commands seriously?


In verse two, God provides us with a very good reason not to fret about evildoers: “they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” Hear what God says to us in James 4:14:

“For what is your life? It is even a vapour,

that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”


In James 1:24 God tells us that man’s flesh is only for a short time:

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.

The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.

And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”


In Hebrews 9:27 God tells us that that there is a judgement coming:

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”


In the remaining verses God tells us what we are to do instead of fretting, and what he tells us is wonderful.


We are to:


Trust

The Hebrew word means to “hie (hurry) for refuge”.

Do good

Instead of spending energy fretting over the behavior of others, focus on

your own behavior and do good.

Delight

The Hebrew word has to do with “soft, pliable, effeminate, or luxurious”.

Commit

Committing is like what the boy did who couldn’t seem to climb over the

wall, so he threw his hat over the wall (& then he was able to climb over

because he just had to get that hat!)

Rest

In the Hebrew, this word means to be still or dumb, or to stop.


It seems to me that when I am trusting God, doing good, delighting in God, committing my way unto him, and resting in him, then I cannot fret. Conversely, when I fret, I am going to have trouble trusting, doing good, delighting, committing and resting. It appears that I have a choice (and so do you)! With God’s grace we can choose rightly!

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